Indian Country and the U.S. Attorneys Offices
Excerpts of Remarks by H. Marshall Jarrett, Director, Executive Office for U.S. Attorneys
Tribal Nations Leadership Conference, December 15, 2010
Through additional resources, sweeping reforms and enhanced communication with tribal leaders, the Department of Justice has reinvigorated its legal and moral obligation to protect tribal communities.
[L]ast January the Deputy Attorney General sent a memo out to the U.S. Attorneys emphasizing that Indian Country is a Department of Justice priority and directing every United States Attorney to develop, in partnership with the tribes in their district, an Operational Plan.
To ensure that the Deputy Attorney General’s vision is being implemented, I sent a guidance memo to the [United States Attorneys] in April directing that certain core elements be addressed in every district’s operational plan. These required elements touch on issues critical to the mission of justice and of paramount importance to you as tribal leaders. Today, I would like to briefly mention just a couple of these core elements.
First, communications: Each Operational Plan should describe the process for informing tribal law enforcement about charging decisions, to include declinations. And, when possible, declination decisions should be made before the tribe’s statute of limitation period expires.
Second, violence against women: Reading case reports from the various districts with Indian Country responsibility, I am reminded again and again about the horrific levels of domestic violence and sexual assault experienced by women and children in your communities. Therefore, Operational Plans are to specifically address the federal response to sexual assault and domestic violence.
To ensure that federal prosecutors have the tools necessary to address the myriad of issues impacting violence in Indian Country, [the Executive Office for United States Attorneys (EOUSA)] has created and staffed the National Indian Country Training Initiative. This project is housed with EOUSA’s Office of Legal Education. The Initiative is providing training to federal, state and tribal criminal justice and social service professionals on many of the investigation and prosecutions issues that must be addressed in the Operational Plans.
The success of the Department’s Indian Country Initiative depends largely on the dedicated efforts of the United States Attorneys' offices. Collaborative working relationships with federal, state, local and tribal law enforcement partners is critical to our success and our ability to improve public safety in tribal communities. I look forward to working with you to enhance our response to crime in Indian country and to institutionalizing the progress achieved in this administration.
Read more on the U.S. Attorney's offices operational plans and the Department's strategy.